woensdag 28 december 2011

Illimani is a ultimate taste experience! Quality, passion and fairtrade ...

Fair trade: Bolivian Highlands coffee
For many people is a nice cup of coffee part of the daily diet.

Ever ever wondered where coffee comes from? Where it grows and how the flowers? In what ways coffee can be processed and how coffee is exported?
For example, did you know that coffee is grown in more than 70 countries? And that most coffee plantations are situated in a broad tropical zone to the equator, which we call the coffee belt?

And did you know that the coffee industry really only two main types of coffee beans are: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta, the the both with their own specific taste characteristics? And that often the coffee that you buy exists from a mix of both types ?
Now available in our shop, NIEUW te koop in ONZE WINKEL

Na heel wat zoeken en proeven naar voor mij de beste koffie (en met evenveel teleurstelling), kreeg ik een tip van een vriend die zich professioneel en intens bezighoud met fairtrade dat ik de Boliviaanse Illimani koffie eens moest van naderbij gaan bekijken.
Dit bijzondere en smakelijke project van een Goudse koffiepionier viel me meteen in de smaak. Iemand die niet direct commerciële doelen had maar zich vooral interesseerde voor de organisatie rond ontwikkelingsprojecten en daardoor, na zijn opleiding in de landbouw, koos in 1992 voor een koffie avontuur in Bolivia.
 Door de Aymara en Quechua indianen, op traditionale wijze geteeld.
Erik Beek ontdekte in Bolivia niet alleen de belangrijke koffie-industrie, maar zag hij ook de talloze missers in de projecten die de Boliviaanse boeren moesten helpen betere werkomstandigheden en prijsafspraken te krijgen waardoor hun leefomstandigheden beter werden. Hij maakt nu vooral eerlijke afspraken met deze koffieproducenten en helpt hen er enorm mee.

Single origins: De koffie van Illimani (de naam is ontleend aan die van de beroemdste Boliviaanse berg), daar zijn we als gastronomen nog het meest in geïnteresseerd, is kortgezegd afkomstig uit het hoogland van de Boliviaanse Andes en ambachtelijke geteeld op een hoogte tussen de 1300 en 1800 meter. Het gaat uitsluitend om 100% biologische Arabica. De koffie is een melange van de verschillende plantages, een single origin uit de Yungas. Aan het assortiment is een single origin toegevoegd uit het gebied ten noorden van het Titicacameer de Yanaloma. Het klimaat, de bodem, het enthousiasme van de boeren, dit alles gecombineerd met de juiste branding (espresso of mild), maken er een wereldse koffie van die in de absolute gastronomische top thuishoort.
Samen met El Ceibo de Boliviaanse Fair trade chocolade bij uitstek krijgt mijn winkel er een fantastische speler bij waar ik terecht trots kan op zijn.

I llimani imports quality coffee from the highland of Bolivia. The coffee has special characteristics where comparison to famous wines and liquors can be made. Origin, processing of green beans and roasting makes it a special coffee with good taste and a nice aftertaste. The coffee is sustainable, biodiversity and organic farming are part of the process
I n the period 1990 - 1992 founder of Illimani Eric Beek visited Bolivia because of his study for Irrigation. In those vistis he came along the traditional coffee area in La Paz Bolivia where coffee is harvested in an artisan way, With enthusiasm he came back to Holland with some samples of the local produced coffee.

I llimani was founded in 1993 as an importing and wholesale company for high quality bolivian coffee. The first shipment of coffee contained only 21 bags. The coffee was received well by customers .In 1998 Illimani started with official organically certified coffee. In the beginning it was mainly ground coffee but in the restaurant and bars Illimani started to sell more and more espresso ground or espresso beans. The special coffee of Bolivia is very good for making espresso, with full flavor which comforts the espressodrinker.

A n advantage of Illimani is that it imports direct from the cooperative of producers. The import is realized when the cooperative has offered it’s coffee and the price of it to Illimani.
A fter cup tasting and quality research Illimani accepts the price which the cooperatives or association of growers propose and because of that, Illimani pays the producers of the coffee a good price always far above the worldmarketprice.

Wilt u meer weten over de coöperatie waar Illimani de koffie vandaan haalt, lees dan dit artikel. Het is verschenen in de Smaakmakend van December 2002.

Illimani koffie nu volledig Klimaat Neutraal!
Illimani verkoopt sinds 1993 biologische koffie verbouwd door kleine boeren in Bolivia. Vanaf 1 januari 2010 is de koffie van Illimani Klimaat Neutraal. Dit betekent dat de CO2-uitstoot van het transport, branden en verpakken van de koffie volledig wordt gecompenseerd.

De compensatie van de CO2 uitstoot wordt gerealiseerd door het planten van bomen op het land van kleine boeren in Bolivia. Hierbij steunt Illimani een Kyoto project met herbebossing in Bolivia waaraan 1.500 kleine boeren meedoen.
Alles over koffie: http://koffie.info/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=219

zondag 4 december 2011

Roasted diced almonds in Felchlin Maracaibo Milk

Some of the finest almonds in the finest milk couverture of Felchlin. Favorite of milkchocolate lovers and beyond !

maandag 21 november 2011

Impacts of Witches' Broom on Cacao Farming in Bahia

What would you do if the price of chocolate doubled? We often think of chocolate as an inexhaustible resource which is not subject to the threats of environmental conditions, disease, or extinction. The truth is, that like any other living species on this planet, Theobroma cacao is subject to the laws of nature. Cacao in its native area of the Amazon has already become affected by disease, decreasing its production to nearly nothing. Now another important large-scale growth area for cacao, the south of Bahia, is being hit with the same disease pressures. Production of cacao is slowing quickly, and if something is not done, will continue to slow. This decrease in production will likely affect not just those whose incomes were based on cacao farming, but on consumers around the world. If something is not done, chocolate could become a scarce commodity.
Bahia, a state of Brazil

Although cacao originated in the western Amazon Rainforest, the beans, which are used to make chocolate, were not originally the part of the plant that was eaten. In the Amazon, natives ate the sweet pulp of the plant, leaving the beans on the ground to be dispersed by animals. Cacao was brought to Central America probably as a snack food by Amazonians or by primates who spit out the bitter beans. In Central America, near southern Mexico and Guatemala indigenous people began using the beans of cocao to make a chocolate, often mixed with vanilla or chili peppers. The people of Central America have drunk cacao for nearly 4000 years, and Mayans began cultivating cacao in southern Mexico and areas of Honduras and Guatemala in about 1500 B.C..
In the 1700s, cacao was planted in southern Bahia, a state of Brazil containing part of the now endangered Atlantic rainforest, the Mata Atlântica, and a similar tropical climate as that of the Amazon, but separated by a dry savanna. This savanna created a genetic barrier between the Bahian and Amazonian cacao, preventing transmission of disease between the populations. The cacao in the western Amazon was extremely susceptible to disease because of its high frequency in its area of origin, and became infected with a fungal disease commonly known as witches' broom. The fungal disease spread to Surinam in 1895, Ecuador in 1918, Trinidad in 1928, and Venezuela in 1937. Witches' broom is caused by Crinipellis perniciosa. This pathogenic fungus causes the tree to send many small shoots from its flower clusters and branch tips as well as infecting the pods, making them unusable. Witches' broom severely reduces the ability of trees to produce pods filled with beans. The onset of this disease in the Amazon severely decreased the cacao production in its indigenous area.
Cocoa pods infected with frosty pod rot disease
Cocoa pods infected with frosty pod rot disease

Due to the decrease in yields of the cacao in the Amazon and its other areas of production, the demand for cacao produced in Bahia increased steeply. Farmers in the south of Bahia, realizing their opportunity for fortune, planted cacao on their land as well, forming a monoculture of cacao in the south of Bahia. The farmers in Bahia became rich with the success of the monoculture, yet their incomes were balanced precariously on the success of their cacao crops. In 1930, cacao taxes provided 30% of the state of Bahia's income. Although monocultures of successful crops seem like a good idea in theory, in reality, they are extremely vulnerable to disease due to their small degree of genetic variance. In 1989 witches' broom reached Bahia. The monoculture that had been created in Bahia was extremely susceptible to the fungal disease. Witches' broom spread quickly, infecting nearly all of the crops and decreasing yields in Bahia by 60% from 1990 to 1994. Along with the destruction of the cacao monoculture in the south of Bahia, witches' broom devastated the economies of the cities the success of cacao had once brought wealth.

Agricultura Orgânica - Rio do Engenho - Ilhéus - BA
Since the arrival of witches' broom to Bahia in 1989, there have been several responses to cope with the devastation of the cacao crops. Many farmers have cut down portions of the rainforest where the cacao grew in order to plant coffee or make cattle pastures. This type of cacao cultivation is known as cabruca cacao  and is particularly important because it is part of a more biodiverse environment which renders the cacao much less susceptible to disease pressure. Other farmers have simply abandoned their farms, leaving workers jobless and diseased crops untended. Some farmers have begun to plant intercrop systems in an effort to diversify their incomes and break up their disease-vulnerable monocultures. Since the onset of witches' broom, researchers have been developing disease-resistant clones that are now being used experimentally in some farms in Bahia, leading to an increase in yields. Since 1989, witches' broom has had a tremendous effect on not only the cacao yields in Bahia, but on the economics of the towns which once depended on its high demand. In towns which once depended heavily on income from surrounding cacao farms, banks have shut down due to lack of money, poverty is widespread, and many inhabitants have simply abandoned their homes and farms in search of opportunity elsewhere.

Cacau Parazinho

Many cacao farms in the vicinity of Una have been diversified with other crops to create intercrop systems less vulnerable to witches' broom infection. Polycultures are advantageous for both economic and ecologic reasons. Diversification of crops diversifies the income of the farmer as well as reducing disease pressure on crops.

Fazenda Bom Jesus is a 140-hectare certified organic orchard which is approximately 40 years old. In this farm, cacao is interplanted with açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), and rubber trees. The cacao on this farm has also been grafted with clones resistant to witches' broom. Grafting was a big advance because these grafted clones produce fruit within one year of grafting and have superior characteristics such as disease resistance.

Fazenda Ararauna is another farm near Una along the Aliança River. The farm is approximately 100 hectares and also includes successful intercrop systems. Cacao is planted with annatto, cupuaçu, açai palm, peach palm, banana trees, guaraná, papaya, mangosteen, and jackfruit.

Areas which were diversified with different crop varieties were affected to a much smaller scale by the arrival of witches' broom in Bahia. In Ituberá, the land is divided into smaller, more diverse farms, which are less vulnerable to witches' broom. Nucleo Coloniala de Ituberá comprises 6000 hectares divided into small plots for many families and individual farmers. The farms in the area not only grow cacao, but also cloves, guaraná, mangosteen, cupuaçu, manioc, annatto, mango, black pepper, papaya, bananas, açaí palm, corn, and coconut palms. Very little of the cacao in the community has been infected with witches' broom.

Fazenda Mia Motto is another highly diverse farm in the area. The farm is 30 years old and covers 60 hectares of land. The owner was the first farmer in the region to plant intercrop systems. Cupuaçu, mangosteen, rumbutan, açerola, gravolia, black peppers, cloves, and allspice are grown on the farm now. Cacao is planted on the farm in an intercrop system with black pepper, bananas, and papaya. The cacao on the farm has been infected with very little witches' broom due to the immense diversity of the crops.

Near Camumu an indigenous group called Pataxó Ran-Ran cultivates 308 hectares split among ten families. The community was established 13 years ago and has been diversified with coffee, cacao, peach palm, beans, corn, banana, manioc, sweet potatoes, and jackfruit. The members of the tribe also raise pigs and bees. This indigenous group sells their products in Camumu and although their cacao has been infected with witches' broom, the tribe has other sources of income to take its place.

Large monocultures of cacao have been found to be more susceptible to disease, and therefore dramatically less productive. Farms under 50 hectares account for 44% of all the farm land, but for 50% of the total production. Farms over 100 hectares account for under 5% of all the farms, for 31% of all cacao land, and only 26% of production. This negative correlation between the area of cultivation and the production is shown very clearly in the town of Camacã. After realizing the incredible value of cacao when it was brought to Bahia, the few powerful families who owned much of the land began planting only cacao on their large farms. The families and their farms were devastated by the arrival of witches' broom in 1989, which affected their crops severely. The town has suffered as well, its only income having been from the monocultures of cacao. The town had at one time six banks, and now has only four. Much rainforest in the area has been cut down for cattle pasture or coffee crops.

Fazenda Rainha do Sul was founded in 1920 and is made up of 143 hectares of farmland. The owner of the farm is Maria Rosalina Moura Pinto, a member of one of the families once wealthy from cacao production in the area. Her father owned 22 cacao farms in Camacã which Maria and her nine brothers still own. In 2001, the farm produced only 500 arrobas(1 Brasilian arroba is equal to 15 kg.)  of cacao, about a tenth of its production before its cacao became infected. Workers have begun to abandon the farm as well because of the lack of profit. The farm used to have 50 workers, and now has only three. The area that formerly housed workers has been transformed into a small inn in order to make extra money. No other crops are being planted to diversify this land, and it is being used experimentally now for resistant clones of cacao. The National Program for Cacao Research and Extension (CEPLAC ) has recently grafted new varieties of cacao from Trinidad and Tobago on four hectares of land.

Joaquim Carvalho Neto is a member of another one of the powerful families which once dominated the cacao market in Camacã. The effects of witches' broom are strikingly apparent on his two farms as well. Fazenda Trindage is a 215 hectare farm which was cultivated 15 years ago. Production on this farm was 6000 arrobas before the arrival of witches' broom and has since dropped to 400 arrobas. The number of workers has also dropped from twelve to two. Neto's other farm, Fazenda Boa Esperança, is 350 hectares and was cultivated 25 years ago. Its maximum production was 13000 arrobas, and has dropped to 1500 arrobas in recent years. During harvest season, the farm used to boast over 80 workers, and has now dwindled to three.

Neto's father had owned five monocultures of cacao which together produced 15,000 arrobas of cacao in 1971 and by 1989 had risen to 48,000. In these farms and nearly all the farms in this region, all the efforts of the people were put into creating monocultures of cacao which have since been destroyed by witches' broom. Neto tried to introduce witches' broom resistant clones into his farms, but could not afford it due to his financial destruction.

Hope for Cacao
Despite the tragic effects of witches' broom on the cacao in the state of Bahia, production has finally begun to increase in recent years due to disease-resistant clones, intercrop systems, and companies dedicated solely to the improvement of cacao. The earlier-mentioned CEPLAC is a governmentally funded organization which was founded in 1957 with the purpose of agricultural education and research dealing particularly with cacao and witches' broom. CEPLAC is also responsible for much or the recent clone research which has led to disease resistant cacao varieties. Data of CEPLAC indicate that in 2001 from the period of January until July, 700,000 sacks (One sack is equal to 60 kilograms of cacao) were gathered in the harvest. In this same period of the year 2000, less than 260,000 sacks had been gathered. These data indicate that it is likely that the harvest of 2001 exceeded the projected value of 1.3 million sacks. It was projected that approximately 78 thousand tons of cacao would be produced in 2001, compared to the 58.4 a thousand produced in the same period of the 2000. The estimates of the producers were that the main harvest in 2001, which begins in October, would increase by the same amount as the harvest of 2000. The cacao region of Bahia would register 130 thousand tons of production in 2001, 21.5% more than in 2000, which produced 107 thousand tons. In 1999, the production registered only 99 thousand tons. These recent figures show a clear increase in cacao production in recent years, indicating that perhaps there is a chance for the cacao in Bahia to someday reach its past state.

Source: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/jur/
Lindsey Evans

woensdag 16 november 2011

Tobago Estate Chocolates Gold Medal Winner Great Taste Awards 2011!

Single Estate Chocolate from Tobago available at selected shops worldwide, now also at my shop.

Fought over by the Spanish, British, Dutch, Courlanders, French and even the Americans, Tobago boasts a rich and varied history. The various forts and historical sites that dot the island are testament to the island's former colonial masters and diverse history.

The plantation estate, situated in the beautiful Roxborough district of undulting hills and lush rainforest in the midst of dazzling vegetation that includes coffee, bananas, papaya and guava. In the tropical climate the earth produces a rich natural bounty.
Soon also available the coffee from Tobago.


Tobago Estate Chocolate Wins Gold at the Guild of Fine Food in London
by Cheyenne Baptiste

Tobago Estate Chocolate has been awarded the coveted Great Taste Award.
Trinidadian cocoa farmer and sommelier, Duane Dove’s company was given the one star gold award for their dark chocolate bars, plain or flavoured, which the judges described as “a lovely aroma and a well-balanced chocolate”.

The Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, are now in their 18th year. The Guild of Fine Food is one of the most trusted and recognised food and drink awards. Over 30 million consumers read about gold-star winning food and drink in newspapers and magazines.
Over 7,000 products were entered from 1,600 companies for the 2011 Great Taste Awards. It took 350 experts over a month to blind-taste all the entries and decide on the winners of the gold awards.

About Duane Dove
Born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago, Duane Dove spent several years living in Europe and North America before settling in Sweden. Having an extensive background in the food and beverage industry, Dove saw the need to rejuvenate the cocoa industry and established the Tobago Cocoa Estates in 2005.
A sommelier by profession Duane Dove has pioneered the pairing of rum & chocolate and continues to share his passion across the world.

Photography: Alex Smailes / Abovegroup Ogilvy
source: http://www.abovegroupogilvy.com/

donderdag 27 oktober 2011

Madre chocolate Hawai, Delicious and Original Chocolate Bars Now Available

Our chocolate is now available at one of the most celebrated chocolatiers in Belgium, Patisserie Vercruysse (Share what is great and good in the world!). Thanks for all the support of bean-to-bar chocolate makers like us, Geert! We are honored to be carried in your shop with such great company and can't wait to see the amazing truffles you create with our chocolate.

This chocolate is made with cacao purchased directly from an organic farm cooperatives in Central America and Hawaii and crafted from bean to bar in small batches. Our processing preserves a high level of healthy antioxidants and provides a rich delightful flavor. At Madre Chocolate we use a selection of traditional fruits and spices of the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, and Barra tribes of Central America that invented chocolate, to both celebrate their cultural heritage and bring you delicious original flavors that few have had the privilege of tasting…until now. All of our products are vegan and soy-free. Most chocolate has soy-lecithin in it as an emulsifier. Our chocolate does not, so it is fine for those who have soy allergies.

Delicious and Original Chocolate Bars Now Available

Dominican Single Origin Roasted € 6.00
Hibiscus € 6.00
Amaranth Crunch € 6.00
Xocoxochitl Chipotle Allspice € 6.00
Hamakua 70% Hawaiian € 7.75
Hamakua Coconut Milk & Caramelized Ginger € 7.75
Hamakua Passion Fruit € 7.75

Beyond Sustainable: bringing you cacao and chocolate direct from its roots, ecologically

David Elliott: Cofounder and Chocolate Production Manager Dave is a bicontinental chocolate maker, avid traveller, and promoter of all things delicious. After working on rural development and environmental justice issues in cacao growing regions of Ecuador and Bolivia for many years, He tasted many excellent, traditional drinking chocolates there, but couldn’t find a fine eating chocolate that gave testimony to Mexico’s long love story with cacao and he saw an opportunity. His excitement only grew when he saw the potential for a chocolate company with a social mission to make a positive impact on the lives of cacao farmers and their communities.

Nat Bletter: Cofounder and Chocolate Flavormeister Dr. Nat Bletter has 15 years of experience in botany, documenting exotic fruits and vegetables, gathering food in the wild, herbal and traditional medicine, and exploring Asia, South America, Central America, and Africa. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnobotany from the City University of New York and New York Botanical Garden, where he researched medicinal plants of Peru, Mali, and the Guatemalan Mayans, ethnobotany, taste-modifying plants, and stimulant plants such as cacao, which has spurred him to start a traditional-ingredient, high-antioxidant, artisinal chocolate company Madre Chocolate. http://madrechocolate.com/Home.html

woensdag 26 oktober 2011

Cacao Diseases in Central America 5

The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is a regional center dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Its members include the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela and Spain.
Source:  Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, CATIE, 2009.

Other cacao diseases
Thread blight    The fungus Pellicularia koleroga produces whitish mycelia threads that spread over the stems and leaves.
The leaves dry out and detach but remain suspended on the branches by the mycelia. The disease seldom causes major damage, but in extreme conditions it can kill the branches.
Thread blight occurs in abandoned plantations or in excessively shaded plantations. It is spread via direct contact, insects and work tools.
Good plantation management prevents and controls the disease. An effective way to combat it is by cutting and eliminating diseased branches and
then disinfecting the tools used.
Pink disease   The fungus Corticium salmonicolor attacks the branches, twigs and trunk of the cacao tree, covering them with a white crust that later turns pink. It causes defoliation, drying of the branches and, in very few cases, the death of the tree.  It usually occurs in young, dispersed trees in the plantation, which means that its economic impact is limited. The fungus is spread by windborne spores and survives in old lesions. This disease can be combated using a similar method to that for thread blight.

Galls or warts    These are growth abnormalities that occur on the trunk and branches of cacao and are known as green-point galls, flowery galls, fan galls, knob galls and lobed galls. The most studied is the green-point gall caused by Albonectria rigidiuscula.
This fungus produces a large number of very small shoots that do not develop and affect the growth and fruiting of the plant. The propagation of these diseased plants should be avoided. Highly damaged plants should be completely eliminated.
Warning!    Witches’ broom is a threat
This is one of the most damaging cacao diseases and is caused by the fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa (formerly Crinipellis perniciosa). It attacks all cacao plants, causing abnormal growths and lesions on the shoots, branches, floral cushions and fruits. It also attacks nursery seedlings. Some of the symptoms on the fruits can be confused with moniliasis.
Witches’ broom is present in South America, some Caribbean countries and areas south of the Panama Canal, which means it is a permanent threat to Central American cacao plantations.
The early identification of witches’ broom is essential in order to alert the appropriate authorities and prevent the spread of this disease in the region. The fungus can propagate in any kind of tissue such as seeds, whole plants, twigs, fruits, etc.
How do we recognize witches’ broom?
Brooms on the floral cushions
Brooms and dry fruits
Green brooms on shoots
Small pink umbrellas appear on dead tissues and then turn brown as they form millions of spores underneath
Infection of the chocolate (Theobroma cacao) tree and pods by cacao pathogens Moniliophthora (Crinipellis) perniciosa and Moniliophthora roreri. a. Witches’ broom of plant stems caused by M. perniciosa infection. b. Chocolate pods and seeds infected with M. perniciosa. c, d. Frosty pod rot caused by M. roreri on pods and seeds.

Do not put your plantation or your country at risk.
Do not introduce cacao plants or any plant parts (fruits, seeds, twigs or buds)
from South America or any other affected country.

If you see any symptoms of witches’ broom on your plantation, do not move
any vegetative material and immediately contact officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Plant Protection Office, or other related institution.
Bibliography Capriles, L. Enfermedades del cacao en Venezuela. Fondo Nacional de cacao, Venezuela.
Hill, DS, and Waller, JM. 1988. Pests and diseases of tropical crops. Singapore, Longman. Porras U., VH. 1988. Enfermedades del cacao. La Lima, Honduras. FHIA: Serie Tecnología Comunicación y Desarrollo Fascículo
Rossman, A; Palm, M, and Spielman, LJ. 1990. A literature guide for the identification of plant pathogenic fungi. APS press, Minnesota, USA.
Wellman, FL. 1977. Dictionary of tropical crops and their diseases. New York, Scarecrow.
Wood, GR. 1982. Cacao. Translation from English by Antonio Marino, México, Continental.

dinsdag 25 oktober 2011

Cacao Diseases in Central America 4

The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is a regional center dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Its members include the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela and Spain.
Source:  Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, CATIE, 2009.

Diseases that mainly attack other parts of the plant
Phytophthora disease and trunk canker: (Phytophthora palmivora or P. capcisi)
diseases are caused by the same organisms that cause black pod

How do we recognize the disease?
Infected suckers (chupons), descending dieback in nursery plants.

How does phytophthora affect the plant?
a) It produces dieback (death) from the top to the bottom of the young shoots (suckers or chupons) of adult plants and nursery seedlings.
b) It causes canker on the trunk of adult trees, characterized by the appearance of circular lesions that are red in color when the bark is removed, and can eventually cause the death of the tree. Reddish-brown lesions appear on the roots and water and nutrient absorption are disrupted, which can also kill the tree.
How does it spread and what factors favor the disease?
The factors that favor the spread of the foliage damages are the same as those described for black fruit rot in cacao. Trunk canker usually occurs in waterlogged areas or during prolonged flooding.

How do we combat the disease?
In the nursery: reducing the level of moisture in the nursery and building raised beds covered by a layer of sand helps to mitigate the effects of the disease. During cool weather the seedlings can be protected by applying a copper-based fungicide weekly during periods of high humidity. Dead seedlings should be carefully eliminated.

In the field: suckers (chupons) should be eliminated periodically to prevent them from becoming infected and thereby becoming a source of contagion for other organs.
Proper construction and maintenance of the drainage ditches on the plantation helps prevent the appearance of trunk canker. When damage occurs, cut off all affected tissues and apply a tree-wound dressing to the cuts. 
Cacao tree with healthy pods on the left, and pods with black pod disease on the right.

Ceratocystis wilt (machete disease) Caused by the fungus Ceratocystis cacaofunesta  http://www.public.iastate.edu/~tcharrin/Cacao.html

How do we recognize the disease?
Sudden death of the tree with the leaves drooping down.
Dried leaves remain for a long period hanging on the tree.
Reddish lesions visible on the stem.
How does the disease affect cacao trees?
The fungus grows in the internal conducting tissues of the trunk and branches, blocking the flow of water and nutrients. The tree wilts and dies as a result. The disease occurs in a sporadic and dispersed manner on the plantation, but it can become a very serious problem when the planted materials are genetically uniform or when they are grafted onto rootstocks that are not resistant to soil-borne diseases.
How does it spread and what factors favor the disease?
The fungus produces most of its spores within the tree, especially in the galleries or tunnels made by barely visible Xyleborus beetles. The spores are disseminated by these beetles when they move from one tree to another, or by the wind, along with the wood dust and the feces of these and other perforating insects.

For an infection to occur, there must be wounds in the trunk and/or on the branches that are caused naturally or by the action of insects or tools such as machetes, shovels, pruning shears, etc.
Ceratocystis wilt of cacao, caused by a host-specialized form of the fungus, has been locally important in Latin America, where it is believed native and called mal de machete. Its importance in Brazil has been recognised increasingly since 1998 and has been associated elsewhere with drought, with South Bahia experiencing reduced rainfall in recent years. Xyleborus beetles are attracted to the diseased trees and bore into the branches. The frass from beetles is pushed to the outside of stems as a light, powder and contains viable inoculum of the fungus, which may be spread by wind or rainsplash.
How do we combat the disease?
A number of useful measures for preventing the appearance and spread of this disease include: disinfecting all work tools with a suitable product before using them; applying tree-wound dressing to the cuts and wounds on pruned trees; and avoid planting uniform material and grafting onto susceptible rootstocks.
Sick trees should be eliminated by burning or burying the residues. If a patch of affected trees is detected, follow the procedure indicated for controlling rosellinia (black root rot).

AnthracnoseColletotrichum gloeosporioides
Caused by the fungus
How do we recognize the disease?
Dry, brown spots with yellow edges that spread over the leaves and dry them.
Diseased fruits show signs of the fungus.
Seedling blight of cacao caused by P. megakarya
A dry broom formed from infection of an apical  vegetative bud by C. perniciosa
How does anthracnose affect the cacao tree?
It attacks the young shoots, leaves and stems that are most exposed to the sun, particularly those in the crown of the tree, which limits the development and production of the plants.
It causes dry lesions with yellow edges that normally spread from the edge to the center of the leaves, eventually damaging them completely, and then the leaves fall off, leaving the branches bare.
This stimulates the growth of new branches that are also infected, which finally take on the appearance of small brooms.
In the nursery it causes similar lesions and defoliation, as well as deep lesions on the stem.
The damage to the fruits is not economically significant and can be identified by the appearance of deep brown lesions on fruits of a certain age. White mycelia appear on the lesions, which turn pink when the fungus produces spores. The diseased fruits turn black and die.

How does it spread and what factors favor the disease?
The spores are produced on the stem and fruit lesions when conditions are humid.
They are disseminated by the wind, rain water or irrigation, insects and tools.
Infection of the foliage occurs during the rainy season and is propitiated by wounds caused by insects.

How do we combat the disease?
Adequate amounts of shade in the field (30%-50%) and shade in the nursery (50%-70%)prevents damage by anthracnose. Infections in the nursery can be reduced by building raised beds covered with a thick layer of sand or mulch* to avoid the splashing of rain water.
Diseased seedlings should be carefully eliminated and a copper-containing fungicide should be applied to the rest of the seedlings at the recommended dose and frequency. In adult plants diseased tissues should be pruned 10 cm below the affected area, applying tree-wound dressing to the thick stems and disinfecting the tools properly.
* Layer of decomposing vegetal residues

next and last episode: Other cacao diseases

maandag 24 oktober 2011

Cacao Diseases in Central America 3

The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is a regional center dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Its members include the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela and Spain.
Source:  Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, CATIE, 2009.
Recommended practices for controlling cacao fruit diseases
Practice: pruning to rehabilitate cacao trees at the end of the main harvest season.
What to do? When the plantation is very tall, very old or has been abandoned, heavy pruning is recommended to reduce the height of the cacao trees to 3 meters, eliminating low-growing and tangled branches.

Practice: Shade regulation, at the end of the main harvest season.
What to do?  Regulate the level of shade to 30% or 50% by pruning and cacao thinning nearby fruit or timber trees associated with the cacao. 

this one fruit of the cacao black pod disease.
 Practice: Maintenance pruning, at the end of the main harvest season.
What to do?  Cut cacao branches that are misshapen, very low or tangled
with other trees to allow light to penetrate, improve ventilation and reduce humidity.

Practice: Sucker removal, Simultaneous with harvests.
What to do? Cut off suckers (chupons) when they are still young.

Practice: Drainage management, during the dry season.
What to do? Build drains and keep them clean to avoid waterlogging.

Practice: Weeding, at least four times per year.
What to do? Eliminate weeds, particularly large-leaved and tall ones. Also
control weeds around the edges of the cacao plantation.

crop losses from pests and disease inflict $700 to $800 million in damages to farmers each year
Practice: Timely harvesting, every 15 days.
What to do? Harvest ripe fruits with a knife or scissors to avoid damaging
floral cushions. Do not allow fruits to overripen in the cacao plantation, as these will be attacked by phytophthora or eaten by animals.

Practice: Complete removal of fruits, every eight days during the period of fruit formation and growth. Every 15 days the rest of the year.
What to do? Before the rains begin and new fruits form, remove all diseased and healthy fruits left over from the previous production cycle. Gather them together in an open site and sprinkle them with lime or products high in nitrogen so that they will decompose more rapidly.

Practice: Removal of diseased fruits (sanitary harvest), every eight days during the period of fruit formation and growth. Every 15 days the rest of the year.What to do? Cut all diseased fruits or fruits during the early morning hours so that the spores do not dry off and detach. The cut fruits should be covered with leaf litter or piled up in open sites in the cacao plantation, sprinkled with lime or a solution of 15% urea in water and covered with plantain leaves.

Practice: Rational application of fungicides, during the first two months of
fruit formation.
What to do?  Make two monthly applications of copper oxide (e.g., Cobre Sandoz*) with up to 1% of the active ingredient + up to 0.1% Pegafix* with a motorized pump. Use 200-300 ml per tree, applying the product both to the fruits and the foliage.
*Remember that if your cacao plantation is organic, you should consult the technician before applying these products.

next time: Diseases that mainly attack other parts of the plant